Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's A Cookbook!

Gah. #1 Blogdaughter sends in yet more proof that "Idiocracy" was really a documentary, not a comedy...

Essay portion to be optional under revised SAT college entrance exam
Essay optional. No penalties for wrong answers. The SAT college entrance exam is undergoing sweeping revisions.

Changes in the annual test that millions of students take will also do away with some vocabulary words such as "prevaricator" and "sagacious" in favor of words more commonly used in school and on the job.
Ah, yes. Let's not learn those pesky big words. Hard to spell and all, don't you know? Why not just do away with the SATs entirely and have "Everyone gets into college" day? And I love that there's no longer a penalty for guessing wrong. This is RIGHT AFTER the section where they tell you that they're changing the test to make it more like the real world.

[blank stare]

Why, yes, there are no penalties for guessing wrong in the real world. Just ask President Gary Hart.  Or the guy who thought that filling a damn dirigible with flippin' hydrogen was a swell and dandy way to cart people around. Or, say, General Custer deciding to leave the heavy machinery home. Or the Captain of the Titanic deciding that "full steam ahead" was a grand idea in a sea of icebergs...

What really chaps my ass, though, is this piece of regurgitated class warfare bullshit:
A longstanding criticism of the SAT is that students from wealthier households do better on the exam because they can afford expensive test preparation classes.
Gee, a quick search around the internet reveals that you can take practice tests for free and even get free test prep as well. That's what I found in two minutes of searching in my spare time. I'm not a high school junior or senior preparing for one of the more important tests in my career. I suspect there are plenty of free tests out there for anyone who wants them. It's not the cost of the prep that makes the "students from wealthier households" do better; it's the fact that they know how important these tests are and prepare accordingly.

How long will it be before they start taking points away from the smart kids?

That is all.


libertyman said...

The trouble is, as I see it, is that the SAT is a predictor of success in college. What value will it have if it no longer does this?
At our little college we have open admissions, but you take a placement test for English and math. Do well on this test, and you take real college math and English. If you do not do well enough, then you have preparatory courses to take.
Yes, there is a correlation between demographics and SAT scores. Why is anyone surprised at this?

Formynder said...

I don't have a problem with them dropping the essay portion, I don't recall taking it when I did mine in 1999 or 2000, but the dumbing down of the vocabulary is a concern.

This is just one more step into making going to college for anything other than a science, math, or engineering degree utterly pointless. Might as well just call it extended childcare...

Anonymous said...

Hate to tell you but everybody (that wants to) already gets into college.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Why not just do away with the SATs entirely and have "Everyone gets into college" day?"

IIRC, colleges have reduced the importance of the SAT for a while now - since the late '90's, I think, when they gave everybody a free 100 points to inflate the average scores.

"Or the guy who thought that filling a damn dirigible with flippin' hydrogen was a swell and dandy way to cart people around."

To be fair, hydrogen was really the only option at the time - the US was the only producer, and banned export of it due to how scarce it was.

ProudHillbilly said...

So poor folks have less of a chance? How about Abraham Lincoln? Very poor, self educated. Self education brought him to the equal of wealthy men who had college educations. And he kinda made good.(Well, except right there at the end...)

Evyl Robot Michael said...

Hydrogen really wouldn't have been a bad way to fly if they hadn't made its skin with what was basically rocket fuel. If the German engineers had done their job better before the fact, or not covered it up after the fact, we might have widespread use of airships even today. There's nothing like a good disaster to ruin technology. Just ask the gun grabbers!